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The South Asia Research Institute for Policy and Development, SARID, is a non-profit 501c3 corporation [EIN: 55-0829216], dedicated to promoting education, skill development, and sustainable building strategies for affordable, owner-built homes that are not fossil fuel dependent.[more]

South Asia News and Reports


House after 8 weeksSARID and Sisters of Charity Ottawa (SCO), aka the team, are working jointly to build a prototype energy efficient structure in Lesotho to be used for housing the elderly. SCO is funding the project, while SARID is providing the building technology and technical expertise pro bono. Local Architects, Engineers and Contractors are collaborating and volunteering their time.

SARID is focused on finding ways to increase affordability in poorer countries by relying more on indigenous and recyclable resources, engaging more of the unemployed and the unskilled labor, increasing affordability and energy efficiency of buildings, and enhancing local manufacturing.

Construction cost of the units are expected to be 30% cheaper than comparable structures in masonry or other competing technologies, and 70% cheaper over the life of the project ( Life assumed to be 40 years for purposes of comparison - and takes in to consideration maintenance cost as well as operation cost vis-a-vis heating and cooling).Volunteers working at the workshop

The team has also initiated a vocational training center - in the hope of teaching the unemployed building skills. The first batch of volunteers ended up building the structure. Most of these volunteers had only secondary school education, were previously unemployed, and had little or no prior experience in construction. After being trained the volunteers have learnt carpentry skills, use of hand tools, and other building /construction skills. SCO provided not only free training but as an incentive also provided food and a stipend. The hope is that the skills learnt will improve their chances of employment in the construction industry.

Lunch boxes normally burnedThe proprietary technology, offered at no charge to SCO, has both passive heating and cooling capabilities. It will keep the structure cool in summer and warm in winter. The proposed SARID structure will be significantly more energy efficient than current structure types in Lesotho or South Africa - which are primarily masonry (poorly insulated) blocks which tend to get hot in summer and cold in winter.

The structure will be well insulated and will use 4,000 recycled waste polystyrene (Styrofoam) lunch boxes as insulation. Currently these lunch boxes are burnt, considered trash, causing an irreversible ecological damage, ozone depletion and contributing to global warming.

SARID is also looking into other waste to recycle and incorporate within the built structure.

Please click here to READ More .........or

Please click here to see a video of our first protype structure being built ( This video is an mp4 file. It is user friendly - you may pause, stop and play the video as you please)

(More detailed writeup follows)...


e-learning sites-

  1. Maths (Algebra): A good free e-eduation site for Math, as well as other subjects is >>>>>>

Read full article by clicking here
(Please remember your donations will help our modest effort)


Rebuilding Haiti (Part 2) - Five weeks on the ground After the first visit in 2012, SARID returned to Haiti in spring of 2013 and spent 5 weeks building a prototype structure ........ Read Full Article

Rebuilding Haiti (Part 1) SARID in 2012 surveyed the ground conditions in Haiti to assess how it could help..... Read Full Article


SARID's response ... construction of homes and infrastructure in affected areas [more]

News from Pakistan Literacy Fund [more]

Update from CHAEF: Children Health and Education Foundation [more]

General news: BBC | NPR | DAWN | Voice of America | Reuters |

Low-cost, earthquake resistant, energy efficient, and eco-friendly housing

NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH TO BUILDING STORM SHELTERS FOR BANGLADESH - Sarid - Bangladesh blessed by nature with its fertile alluvial plains, rich and prolific rivers, is also host to violent cyclones... Full Article

SARID’s Sultan develops quake-resistant housing, by Tusha Mittal, India New England

SARID's CASE STUDY: DISASTER AVOIDANCE AND MITIGATION - BARGUNA, BANGLADESH;- “MASS” TECHNOLOGY, Sustainable and “Green" construction – Built in High Risk Area – 15 Km from coast, with very poor soil... Full Article

Low-cost, earthquake resistant, energy efficient, and eco-friendly housing

FEATURED IMAGES from Kasmir of a low-cost, earthquake resistant, energy efficient, and eco-friendly housing. The construction process utilizes a proprietary technology, MASS, developed by Javed Sultan of SARID, Inc., Images

Identify unused land in cities: Govt, by Neha Dewans, Economic Times, India: In a bid to push the agenda of affordable housing, state governments have now begun the process of identifying vacant land in key cities which would be handed over to local development authorities for building houses. This follows a directive in this regard from the Centre to states, with the idea of making governments more active in house building in the future. At a time when private developers are facing acute cash crunch... full article

Building a Stable Future: SARID’s Sultan Develops Quake-resistant Housing, by Tusha Mittal, India New England - Many org-anizations spoke with Ms. Nazmeen Butt, but she says the results remained on paper. Lots of people came, but did only file work,” she says. “They take our picture, take our data, but no one comes back to give us anything.” That changed when she met Mr. Sultan Director of South Asia Research Institute for Policy and Development (SARID), a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Mass... full article

Safe shelter to protect against natural disasters, by Maryam Omidi, Minivan News, Maldives: A multi-purpose safe shelter is being built on Muli, Meemu atoll to shelter around 1,000 people in the event of a natural disaster. The building will be used for community activities on a day-to-day basis but will be equipped to shelter people from earthquakes, tsunamis, and wind speeds up to 40 per cent higher than that specified for Maldives coastal areas... full article

Hard Place; Sri Lanka, developing countries, face more challenges and poverty from downturn: economistsi,, Lanka Business online: While developed countries are facing economic contraction, developing nations are facing increases of absolute poverty, with some countries like Sri Lanka having little fiscal room to maneuver, economists have said. A global economic crunch from a collapsing housing, financial and commodity bubble was slowing 'economic growth' worldwide, with world growth expected to be just 0.5 percent in 2009... full article

A walking tour around the slums of Mumbai, by Victor Mallet, Financial Times, London - My first sight of Dharavi, the part of Mumbai reputed to be Asia’s largest slum, was as unlike the conventional tourist tableau of India – all snake charmers and sadhus – as it is possible to witness. On a smouldering garbage dump above a mangrove swamp on the slum’s edge, men squatted here and there with tucked-up loincloths, defecating in the morning light. Mangy dogs skulked between mounds of construction waste and household rubbish... full article

SRI LANKA: World Bank housing project found wanting, IRIN News (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) - When Typhoon Nisha lashed northern Sri Lanka in the last week of November 2008 it caused extensive damage to the roofs of thousands of newly constructed homes, forcing the World Bank to reassess the type of roofing used in its multi-million dollar housing projects. Jaffna, 400km north of Colombo, was hit hardest, according to the National Disaster Management Centre... full article

Urban poverty, climate change and built environment, by Huraera Jabeen and Fuad H. Mallick, The Daily Star, Bangladesh - Designers of built environment can contribute in three areas for improving living environment for the urban poor: in building design; in settlement planning and design as well as in urban planning. Within these three areas they are to work with housing standards, environmental sustainability, economic affordability, structure as well as aesthetics for individual structures. Issues like infrastructure development, upgrading and designing community facilities affect ability of the urban poor to improve their living environment... full article

Alternative Construction Methods May Put an End to Price Hikes Say Experts, by Ahmed Maged, Daily News Egypt – CAIRO: If cheaper building techniques based on a new scientific approach are used in construction, costs would be cut down by 10 percent for each square meter, Housing Minister Ahmed El Maghrabi said at a conference last week. “We build 300,000 units annually over an area of 40 million square meters. But if we manage to reduce... full article

Industry Calls for Push to Affordable Housing, Sindh Today - Describing the government’s decision to provide 5 percent interest subsidy on housing loans taken by the economically weaker sections (EWS) as ‘a move in the right direction’, an industry lobby Sunday said it would boost demand of affordable housing. The prevailing high interest rate has dampened the overall demand and has severely affected the affordability, thus making housing a distant dream of a common man... full article

Older articles from the Index page can be found in Recent Affairs




We would like to thank you in advance for your generous support and your tax-exempt donation.

( SARID is a tax-exempt non-profit 501c3 corporation)

Please click below to proceed:

Board of Directors, SARID Inc.


How did we spend the money you gave us. This is how we spent it over the last 8 years ( see chart above). SARID’s officers and Directors have received zero compensation. They work pro bono and volunteer their time, and work in modest facilities.

SARID LAUNCHES ITS FIRST WOMEN CENTER (Sarid) - SARID, has launched its first Women Center in Muzaffar--abad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, funded by a generous dona-tion from Arif Muhammad and Sughra Bano ... Full Article



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